Help! I'm attracted to other men.

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Help! I'm attracted to other men.

Jun 23, 2003 |J. Budziszewski
Question

I know you've addressed porn and lust in general, but my case is more complicated. The thing that plagues my soul is that I find myself aroused by images of other men. This has been plain to me for about two to two and a half years, and I don't know much about fighting it. There aren't as many "come out of homosexuality" books as there are "dating tips" books. You see, topics like "wait until marriage" are always being thrown about by speakers and friends and Bible study leaders I know, but the possibility of homosexual attractions is never addressed. I feel so alone, and I don't know how exactly to seek help. I've been putting up an exhausting front for some time; I'm afraid my friends will not understand, that others will find out, and that I will be destroyed. I've been depressed and irritable for the last few months, and I believe that my disgusting secret has kept me from establishing real bonds with people on campus and connecting within our Christian fellowship, as my other friends have. I feel sick and dirty, and I'm tired of this.

I haven't looked at internet porn or masturbated for at least two weeks now, but I feel a tremendous burden on my heart. I pray to God to give me strength to persevere. Oftentimes my eyes just water up for no reason (well, for some reason) because I am hurting so much inside. It's not healthy that I bottle it all up, but I don't know what to do. I am going to look for a Christian therapist probably, but I can't bring myself to explain my struggle to others, especially my best friend who I've always bantered with about "girls and all the mysteries of their existence." I really feel that I have been living such a lie that those who know me will desert me. Please direct me to a source of help with this, because I'm finally realizing that now, midway through my college years, this can't continue any longer. Thank you for your help, and your prayers, if you would pray for me. May God continue to bless your online ministry.

Answer

I know these unwanted feelings are a great burden to you, but I have good news: There is a lot more help available than you think, and much, much more than there used to be. You are not alone, and you might be surprised how many letters I receive about it. In fact, if you use the "Search" feature at the Boundless homepage, you can find those of previous Office Hours and Ask Theophilus columns which have dealt with the subject.

I suggest that you get in touch with Exodus International, the umbrella organization for Christian ministries devoted to helping people find relief from same-sex attractions. Exodus has a lot of experience, and can refer you to groups that meet in your area, to resources that you can read, and finally to Christian counselors who understand problems like yours and who can help you.

Another thing that may be helpful — at least indirectly — is to reach an understanding of what may be at the root of these unwanted desires. Often their origins lie in difficulties in the early relationship between a young man and his father. If you would find this kind of information helpful, then I can also recommend the Web site of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. NARTH is not a Christian organization, but it's Christian-friendly, and some of the members are Christians.

Chiefly I want to encourage you to do what is necessary to get help — even though it will mean telling your story, whether to a therapist or to an Exodus-affiliated self-help group. Some of my friends who have escaped from same-sex attractions have told me that they had the blessing of belonging to churches which understood, encouraged, and supported them in their efforts to find real change. Not all churches are like that — but some certainly are, and I think that understanding of the issue is growing among Evangelical churches.

Take courage! God, who is your Father, Christ, who is your Brother, and the Holy Spirit love you greatly, and they will support your growth into the man they have planned for you to become. I'll pray for you too.

Grace and peace,
PROFESSOR THEOPHILUS

Copyright 2003 Professor Theophilus. All rights reserved.

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